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Tuesday, 23 November 2004

The Frog Chorus

Contrary to the popular belief espoused by Paul McCartney (oh is that ever a face I’d like to smack) the Frog Chorus is not a jolly little bum-bum-bum-ayi-ay. For a start it does not occur at a leisurely hour on a Sunday afternoon of kids’ tv. Nosir. It begins at 4am, waking you with a violent start, thinking ‘what the fuck now?’. Frogs actually make a rawk rawk sound, not unlike the chickens. Except the frogs are much much louder and have different pitches. I suspect it’s because frogs are more intelligent than chickens, although I’ve yet to have a conversation with either species. Actually that’s not true, I have had conversations with the chickens but they’re mostly one-sided. Which may or may not prove whatever point it was I was trying to make. I am very sleep deprived today.

I was trying to nod off again last night when I heard the flapping. Flap flap flap flap swoop! Flap flap flap flap swoop! Again and again. Bat. Batty bat. I guess bats are stupid too. What was it doing in our bedroom? I’m really living in the wrong place. Apart from snakes, crocs and sharks I hate things that flap. You know a flapping noise ought to be a fresh clean sheet on a washing line, or the sound of a crisp tablecloth being draped in preparation for a wild dinner party; not some horrible winged thing with rabies. The Husband tried to stun it into submission with a giant hi-beam torch (on special offer from Robert Dyas for about two quid before we left. It weighs a couple of kilos and could happily be used as a prison searchlight). By this stage of course my body decided that since I was awake I should use the opportunity to pee, so I raced off to the longdrop thinking ‘la la la’ and not thinking about snakes at all. On my return I was cautious about re-entering the room.

‘Warning, warning, I’ve stunned it, watch out.’
‘Where is it?’
‘I don’t know. I hit it, it fell somewhere.’
‘Should I get a sweeping brush?’
‘Yes. And a bucket.’
‘Will a bowl do?’
‘Yes. Hurry.’

Armed with plastic I enter the bedroom. The hi-beam is sweeping the floor. The bat is by the wardrobe. The husband is still in bed and the mosquito net is still secured.

‘How on earth did you hit it?’
‘Well it landed on the outside of the net so I lunged for it with the pillow’.

He does not specify whether he used my pillow or his. I don’t ask. I try to sweep the beast out the door. It flaps. I throw the bowl over it and sweep that out on to the verandah. I don’t want to sweep it off the step because I don’t want it to (a) flap at me or (b) lie on the path in front of my house. I ask The Husband’s advice.

‘Shall I leave it under the bowl to suffocate and die?’ In Withnail tones, the response –
‘Yes. Leave the wretched bastard to suffer, it has disturbed my sleep.’

Five minutes later – ‘Although the bowl won’t actually be airtight, so I suspect it will live’.

Now we have to try and sleep with the background noise of a bat under a bowl going flump flump flump trying to escape.